If you have had teeth pulled or are likely going to have teeth pulled, you may be in the market for something called a dental implant. This is a replacement tooth that is put directly into your head, with a bit of re-enforcement, that keeps you from having to use dentures and from having bone loss that is typical when a large number of teeth are being pulled. This isn’t going to work for everyone and unless you know that you are a good candidate, your dentist might not even suggest it, however, you might want to bring it up the next time they talk about pulling a tooth.
The first requirement is, of course, going to be that you have some teeth missing or that at least one is going to be pulled. The minimum number of teeth that need to be missing for an implant is one, so if you need at least one tooth, then you will likely be able to get an implant done. People who are missing a large number of teeth may find that they have too many missing for the work to be done, so it is better to ask about them sooner rather than later.
Asking before work is done will allow a dentist to make the necessary adjustments to the work that they are doing to try and make sure that you are a good candidate. If the extraction is a particularly tricky one this might add a bit of time on to the procedure, and maybe a bit of cost, but it will end up saving you in the long run. The prep work will involve making sure that the bone is strong enough to handle the implant and that your other teeth are in good enough condition to have it put in place as well.
If you have generally good dental health you will likely be a good candidate as well. This is because the implant will need to be taken care of like other teeth. You will need to brush and otherwise take care of your teeth like you always would to prevent any issues from happening with the new tooth.
Finally, you will likely be a good candidate if you are able to bite hard foods without any problems. Jaw pain when you bite hard foods may indicate that you won’t be able to receive one of these implants. However, this is not always going to be the case. Jaw pain may just be from the cavity that you have, from swelling, or from other issues that don’t indicate an issue with your jawbone. X-rays taken by your dentist will tell you if there are any problems preventing you from getting an implant.
Implants are one of the best ways to preserve a smile and to keep you from having problems with eating and other tooth-related activities later in life. There is very little difference with how an implant and a real tooth act, and once the implant has fully healed most people can’t tell the difference.
At the end of the day, the only person who can truly tell you if you will be a good candidate for dental implants is going to be your dentist. However, most dentists will be more than happy to work with you to ensure that you can get an implant and that you can maintain your smile without the addition of dentures and the messy creams that accompany them in your life. If you are going to have a tooth pulled, ask your dentist if implants are the way to go.